If you’ve been around me the last couple of months, you know I’m really busy. You’d know that because I would tell you every opportunity I had. Thinking back, I wonder how much extra time I would have had if I hadn’t spent so much time telling people I was too busy to do anything other than whatever was on top of my busy list.
Luckily, I’m surrounded by good people. They would alternately smile knowingly or share in my weary frown and nod. For a good while that made me feel better. But something changed over this past weekend.
No, I didn’t catch up on all my busy work. In fact, the list got longer. And no, my appreciation for the kind people in my life didn’t change. These folks are wonderful.
At some point during the weekend, I realized I didn’t like being the guy who never has time to do anything. I even talked to Nancy, my wife, about it. She was thrilled to hear it. But she added, “You know, you’ve always tended to be a little too busy.” Or words to that effect.
One thing I know. When Nancy tells me something, I need to listen.
So now I’m listening. And in listening, I’m hearing things that are difficult. And questions arise.
One of the most difficult is “Who’s your friend?”
Don’t get me wrong. I have a lot of friends, technically. At least I have individuals who are gracious, caring people who are always there for me. The nuance to the question is in the true meaning of “friend.” In my book, the definition of the word is dependent on how I act. It’s not about who I can call on. It’s about who can call on me.
So, over this last couple of months — and perhaps most of my life — I’ve been a friend to projects and to-do lists. So I’m announcing that, while I plan to continue my quest for productivity, I’m planning on being a friend to real, live, breathing people.
I’ve got to tell you, I’m concerned that this decision could add to my busyness. But, as I look to the friends around me, I can see I shouldn’t be. Friends help friends. Friends are there for friends. Friends have time for friends.
Who’s your friend?